Hitlist Web Awards | Dia Mirza-starrer Kaafir: Story compels humanity to think

Updated: Feb 15, 2020, 07:32 IST | Shaheen Parkar | Mumbai

Nominated in the Best Actor (Female) category in the upcoming mid-day and Radio City Hitlist Web Awards, Kaafir actor Dia Mirza says proud to foray into the web with a thought-provoking series.

A still from Kaafir
A still from Kaafir

Her maiden digital venture may have won her rave reviews, but Dia Mirza believes that the credit goes to the beautiful writing of Kaafir. In telling the story of a woman hailing from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir who is put behind bars in India after being suspected of being a militant, Mirza, director Sonam Nair and writer Bhavani Iyer have offered a narrative that is urgent and relevant in today's political climate.

"As an artiste, I respond to stories. The plot of Kaafir moved me, it compels humanity [to think]. I'm grateful that it was my debut on OTT," says Mirza of the show that is inspired by true events. "The experiences that Kainaaz Akhtar [her character] has, are so challenging at an emotional level. The fact that it was inspired by a true story made it even more difficult."

The harsh winter in Himachal Pradesh is far from conducive for shoots, but the actor feels otherwise. "When you are invested in a character, nothing feels extreme," she declares, adding that a sequence required her to jump into a river. "Even though the temperature was sub-zero degrees, I was revelling in the narrative so much that it didn't occur to me. The team was on standby with blankets and warm water. After finishing a shot, I would lie on the ground trembling, with my teeth chattering." She rues that the series, which also stars Mohit Raina and child actor Dishita Sehgal, could not be shot in the Valley. "Kashmir was going through a strange time then, so we couldn't go there. But I am happiest when I am in the Himalayas."

Mirza admits that the team is currently developing the material for the second season. "But I have no idea whether the story will move forward, or a new story will be told."

More about Kaafir

. Environment-conscious Dia Mirza gifted the entire crew customised metal water bottles, with each bearing the user's name
. The show was shot in Himachal Pradesh, with a short stint in Mumbai. Despite the sweltering heat in Mumbai, the actors had to wear woollen clothes to maintain continuity

Cast your vote for the Hitlist Web Awards

. Dia Mirza has been nominated in the Best Actor (Female) category for Zee5's Kaafir. The other nominees are:
Shefali Shah (Delhi Crime; Netflix)
Sobhita Dhulipala (Made In Heaven; Amazon Prime)
Shweta Tripathi Sharma (Laakhon Mein Ek; Amazon Prime)
Rasika Dugal (Out Of Love; Hotstar)
Geetanjali Kulkarni (Gullak; SonyLIV)
Mithila Palkar (Little Things S03; Netflix)

. There are 14 categories that the public can vote in. Log on to www.hitlistwebawards.com to cast your vote.
. You can also vote via SMS. Send HITLIST <space> category name <space> your choice (a/b/c/d as on the website) to 57575.
. Voting lines close on March 8.

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